Tapping Valve Vs. Gate Valve

Home Tapping Valve Vs. Gate Valve
07/09/2022
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Industrial valves are devices that help regulate the flow of liquids, gasses, and slurry mixes. In addition, they must adhere to certain industry standards of hygiene and quality in order to not disrupt supply or utility systems. 

The best industrial valves supplier adheres to these norms and manufactures various types of valves, including ball valves, gate valves, and tapping valves. It is important to understand the subtle differences between these valves to ensure process efficiency and optimization. Two of the most important valves – tapping valve vs. gate valve are compared below.

What Is A Tapping Valve?

Valves In Industrial Applications
Source: Pixabay

As the name suggests, a tapping valve facilitates a connection between domestic service lines. It can be thought of as a transition valve between the main supply line to a building. It essentially creates a branch without disrupting the supply line or stopping its service for maintenance. Hence, it ensures that supply areas or even entire districts have access to water, gas, and other utilities, even during maintenance. 

Tapping valves can be installed via a variety of techniques, including hot tapping, wet tapping, pipe freezing, and plugging. The types of tapping using a tapping valve can be broadly categorized into two – standard tap and live tap. A live tap includes wet or hot tapping.

The former is done to branch off from or create access to an existing main that is not in operation. This is usually done by isolating the section where the tapping is to take place and closing nearby valves. On the other hand, a live tap or wet or hot tap is done while the existing main is still in operation.

Industrial Applications

From a general perspective, tapping valves are used to provide access to or connect pipelines without disrupting the flow. It can also be used to install flow meters, control valves, probes, and other such equipment into existing main lines. Tapping valves for such applications are typically installed using hot or wet tap techniques. 

In this technique, a pressure-contained tapping device is used to attach a tapping valve to an existing pipeline. Hot tapping utilizes a split tee or nozzle that is welded to the pressurized pipe’s surface. While hot taps are used in applications that are exposed to heating and cooling, like steam lines or refineries, wet taps are most often used in water or sewage lines. Wet tapping is used to make a branch connection from an existing pipeline via a bolted tapping sleeve.

Applications With Other Valve Types

Apart from the industrial applications given above, tapping valves can also be used to install other valves in a supply system. These include gate and ball valves. With the help of a tapping machine, a defective valve can be replaced without stopping the entire system. Similarly, a flow control valve or monitoring meter can be installed easily. 

An isolation valve can be paired with a tapping valve used for hot tapping to provide an isolated section within a pipeline system for repairs or installing additional valves and sensors. It can also be used to create a branch of a pipe to redirect the flow. An example of this situation would be a swedge tapping valve that can help tap into butterfly valves to add new pipeline connections to the existing main line.

What Is A Gate Valve?

Dombor gate valve
Source: Dombor

A gate valve is perhaps one of the most popular valves that are used for streamlined flow in fluid supply systems that typically carry liquids like water. Gate valves are named so because of their functional capabilities; their mechanism involves a closing element that can slide into a flowing stream and cutoff flow as and when required.

Gate valves have simple designs and are thus suitable for low-pressure applications as well as high-temperature and pressure systems. They are designed as full-port valves, in which the valve port has the same diameter as the interior diameter of the constructing pipe. Full-bore gate valves allow fluids to flow through pipes without any obstructions and do not create a pressure drop in the pipeline. As a result, they can be easily maintained and cleaned using devices like a cleaning pig

Gate valves are typically divided into two types based on the wedge – parallel and wedge-shaped gate valves. They can also be divided into metal-seated and resilient-seated valves depending on the seat type, whereas rising and non-rising stem gate valves are categorizations based on the stem. 

Working Principle

Gate valves can be operated via three methods – a handwheel, an actuator, or a valve T-key. In the case of a handwheel, the wheel is directly attached to the valve stem and supplies rotational energy to it, making it move. When the gate valve opens, the rotation of the handwheel turns the threads on the gate stem into the gate and vice-versa for closing.

Typically, industrial gate valves are installed in those areas of the pipeline that need to stay open or closed for longer periods of time. This is because gate valves will generally take some time to switch between these two modes when operated with a handwheel or valve T-key. On the other hand, in cases where the valve needs to be operated frequently, motorized or actuated gate valves can be used. These valves are equipped with electric actuators that help operate the valve, even remotely. 

Industrial Applications

Gate valves are primarily designed for on-off applications in systems that require infrequent use of gate valves. It’s best not to use a gate valve for regulating the flow unless it is specifically designed for that purpose, as it could lead to eventual leakage due to the high fluid velocity near the shutoff point. 

In addition, gate valves are designed for full-area flow systems where they minimize pressure drop and can be cleaned with a pipe-cleaning pig. Owing to their design, gate valves have several industrial applications and are used in industries like oil and gas, manufacturing, marine, automotive, utility, and pharmaceutical industries. 

Which Is Better – Tapping Valve Vs Gate Valve

Dombor Gate Valve
Source: Dombor

Coming to the main point of comparison, none is better than the other since the applications and use of these valves are inherently different. Tapping valves are used to connect domestic service lines to the main supply pipe. It is essentially used to create a branch from the supply line without disrupting the functioning of the system. 

Gate valves, on the other hand, are isolation valves that completely cut off or restart the flow of fluids in supply systems. Their simple design facilitates easy maintenance, and they can be controlled remotely via electrical actuators

Tapping valves are generally used in the utility sector in industries like refineries, steam lines, and water and sewage systems. Gate valves are suitable for use in a plethora of industries like pharmaceuticals and oil and gas industries because they come in several different types.

Final Words

Selecting the right kind of valve based on the application and function is crucial in all industries. The right valve should function seamlessly, should be durable, and should be made from high-quality materials. 

Dombor Valve is a leading gate valve manufacturer, including gate valves, tapping valves, ball valves, and more. Contact the professional valve supplier today, and reap the benefits of its pristine valves.

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